Women 's Roles During The Norse Mythology Essay

Women 's Roles During The Norse Mythology Essay

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Women’s roles in society in Norse mythology are generally not specific to their gender. Women could be warriors, priestesses, poets, or housewives, and sometimes a woman was actually a man. Women in ancient Norse societies had rights such as the ability to divorce for valid reasons and to own land, which wasn’t allowed or didn’t exist in other parts of Europe. By looking at the Eddas and Sagas, reading the myths, and studying the archeological remains of the people of the region, we can see the different roles that were held by the women of this old world pagan religion.
Brunhild of the Volsunga saga was originally a Valkyrie, but since she disobeyed Odin he placed her into a deep sleep until the bravest of men could arouse her (Guerber, 2006, p. 299). All Valkyries were women and immortal. After her betrayal, Brunhild was told by Odin that he would never again permit her to be a Valkyrie and that she must live for an ordinary span of years (Rosenberg, 2006, p. 493). Freya, the love goddess, could be considered the greatest of all Valkyries. She rides onto the battlefield and selects half of the fallen and leaves the other half for Odin. Valkyrie means chooser of the slain and is the only job considered as a gender-specific role.
Brunhild would then be a shield-maiden upon waking. A shield-maiden is a woman who had chosen to fight as a warrior. Other examples of shield-maidens mentioned by name in the Norse sagas include Hervor in The Saga of Hervor and Heidreks, Brynhildr of The Saga of Bosi and Herraud, the Swedish princess Thornbjǫrg in The Saga of Hrolf son of Gautrek, and Princess Hed, Visna and Veborg in Gesta Danorum. (Shieldmaiden, n.d.). The Gesta Danorum is an essential source for Danish history and is kno...


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...ngs. Movies that show the strength of Thor with his hammer, the trickery of Loki, and even the Volsunga Saga from The Poetic Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Other movies based off Norse Mythology started as fantasy novels, such as Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Norse mythology is also represented in video games, such as Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft.
Norse mythology is still around today and used in entertainment. However, the subtle changes to the perception of the myths help to create an updated concept of family and relationships that are important to people today. The modifications make the myths more relatable to audiences. Myths of all sorts can be seen and interpreted differently by all that read them. The child will see only a tale of adventure, while the adult has a more in depth understanding of the message being conveyed.

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